SMITH Forefront 2

Photos & Words By: Chris Gaeta

Overview

Smith has long been a leading brand in the cycling world when it comes to things like eyewear and helmets with the Forefront 2 epitomizing the technological advancements they have made in the way of cycling protection. The Forefront 2 is Smith's premium level half shell helmet focusing on multi-layer protection and an increased level of integration compared to the the more budget-freindly, Session, all while maintaining an aestheically pleasing appearance. I've been wearing this helmet for a little over year now and I am very pleased with it. But what makes this helmet worth the price point? Let's dive in.


Features

  • $240
  • Complete Koroyd protection
  • MIPS protection
  • AirEvac ventilation integrates with Smith goggles and eyewear reducing lens fogging
  • VaporFit dial adjustment with 270-degree fit adjustment
  • 20 vents for consistent airflow
  • XT2 antimicrobial lining for sweat-activated odor control
  • Front and rear eyewear storage channels



PROTECTION

Smith helmets are known for their lightweight feel and aesthetically pleasing presentation but offer a unique protection system through Koroyd – a lightweight, energy-absorbing, impact protection material. A common feature found in their ski helmets, the Koroyd is the honey-comb material lining the inside of the helmet designed to absorb and dissipate the vibration moving through the helmet when an impact occurs. Paired with MIPS, Multi-directional Impact Protection System, the Forefront 2 has multiple layers of protection in the event you take a nasty crash.


FIT AND INTEGRATION


Arguably, one of the best features on the Forefront 2 is the eyewear storage channel. No more losing your earth-toned sunnys on the ground or having to battle lens fog on a humid climb. The Forefront 2 has a side channel that securely houses the frame of your eyewear for easy storage. I found this commonly overlooked feature extremely useful a possibly one of my favorite features of this helemt. That is if your lenses fog in the first place. The AirEvac ventilation system on the brim of the helmet keeps airflow constant and helps reduce lens fogging. My initial impression was one of concern over how well it ventilated, with Koroyd lining the entire helmet, but a few rides in the heat debunked any preconceived notions I had. Best used with a pair of Smith sunglasses or goggles of course. When it comes to sizing, the Forefront 2 will have dedicated sizing from SM-XL ranging from 51cm-65cm head circumferences. See the table below for the breakdown on sizes.




SizeHead Circumference
S51-55cm
M55-59cm
L59-62cm
XL62-65cm




COMFORT

When shopping for MTB helmets, comfort should be a high priority. After all, you’re going to be wearing it for hours-on-end. Helmet shape can play a big part when it comes to comfort, with the Forefront 2 having a more rounded profile compared to the Session (Smith’s mid-level half shell). The VaporFit dial adjustment offers a wide range for fine tuning the tightness through a 270-degree adjustment dial. With most dial adjustments, you can adjust where it sits on the back of your head with a three-position adjuster in the event you start getting irritation or minor aches. With the ride season occurring in the summer months, ventilation is something that will come as a luxury when the trail decides to spit you out into the open areas lacking tree coverage. The Forefront 2 is equipped with 20 vents and their XT2 antimicrobial lining for odor control. Despite the Koroyd system encompassing the entire shell, which normally would obstruct ventilation, the 20 vents play a crucial role in the helmet maintaining a level of ventilation that makes riding in 90+ degree heat tolerable.





FINAL TAKE

If you’re in the market for a premium level half shell then there's no reason for the Forefront 2 not to be on your radar. It is a steeper price point compared to your average helmet, but at the end of the day, the argument of not being able to put a price on head protection is very relevant here. Not many helmets offer this much protection nor the amount of integration that comes with it. The Koroyd didn't prevent any ventilation as this was something I assumed upon first impression.